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Fort funds remain unused

More than two years after the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) gave R30 lakh to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out conservation work at the Tughlaqabad fort, the money is yet to be utilised. Nivedita Khandekar reports.

delhi Updated: Sep 28, 2012 00:55 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

More than two years after the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) gave R30 lakh to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out conservation work at the Tughlaqabad fort, the money is yet to be utilised.

GAIL had disbursed Rs 30 lakh to the National Culture Fund (NCF) for the restoration work of the Tughlaqabad fort in 2009-10.

The NCF aims to enroll corporates, non-government agencies and state/central PSUs in the promotion, protection and conservation of India's heritage.

Ahead of the Commonwealth Games-2010, the ASI had carried out conservation work at the Tughlaqabad fort in 2009-10, but did not use the grant.

Though the agency is facing funds crunch, the grant has not been utilised since then.

The Tughlaqabad fort was one of the 46 monuments identified by ASI for conservation, and if possible, illumination, ahead of the Commonwealth Games.

But ASI went ahead and carried out the upgrade work with its own funds. However, neither NCF nor GAIL officials have taken up the matter since then.

P Laxmi Priya, senior manager at NCF, said, "The then Delhi chief of ASI had told us that there were security issues and requested us to consider the fund for another monument."

There has been an exponential population growth, besides increase in the number of houses, in Tughlaqabad village. There is a pending legal dispute owing to the regularisation of colonies/houses in the area. "Now, the current chief wants to hold a meeting to sort out the issues.

We are re-looking at the project," she added. "We plan to carry out an inspection of the fort along with officials from NCF and the donor agency. We will identify the area where the conservation work can be carried out," said DN Dimri, Delhi circle chief, ASI.